Activity Center

Making DNA Bracelets

What is DNA? 

DNA is what makes you unique! It is in every cell in your body and determines things like what color your eyes are, how your heart beats, and even how tall you will be when you grow up! The information in your DNA is passed from your parents to you – that’s why you may look like your mom, or have your dad’s handwriting! All living things have DNA including pets, plants, and even organisms like bacteria. 

How does DNA work? 

DNA is made up of four separate building blocks: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine (A, C, G, and T for short). Due to the chemical shape of these building blocks, they always pair together in a certain way: A with T and C with G. They fit together like puzzle pieces, only allowing the correct pairings to come together. DNA is important for all living things because it stores information like how they are different, how they grow and develop, and how they stay healthy! You can think of it as a recipe book for all the living things you can imagine!

Follow the directions below, graciously provided to the public by the Wellcome Genome Campus, to make a bracelet that matches the DNA code of a cool living organism!

DNA Bracelet Instructions

DNA Bracelet Pairing Rules

DNA Bracelet Sequences

Pipe Cleaner Neurons

What is a neuron? 

A neuron is a type of cell that carries messages through your body using electricity and chemicals called neurotransmitters. Neurons use these chemicals to communicate with each other. Each neuron is made of 3 main parts: a cell body, dendrites, and an axon.  The cell body contains DNA and everything the neuron needs to continue working properly. The dendrites receive messages from one neuron to another. These messages then travel to the axon, where they are sent out to other neurons. 

How do neurons work? 

Neurons act like telephone lines and carry messages from one part of your body to another. Once your brain has a message to send to another part of your body, an electrical signal is sent through your neurons. For example, if a ladybug lands on your arm, a neuron from your arm will send this message to your brain. Your brain then sends a message through neurons to brush your arm off.   

Neuron Fun Facts: 

• Some neurons can stretch from your back all the way down to your feet!
• There are about 100 billion neurons in your brain!
• If you lined up all the neurons in your body, they would be 600 miles long!

Use the directions below to make your very own neuron. Can you name all of the parts and what they do?

Pipe Cleaner Neuron Instructions

Neuron Diagram
(Image: Quasar Jarosz via Wikipedia Common)

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